While it sounds a little bit scary and strange, growth modification could actually help to reduce the likelihood of your child needing complex orthodontic treatment such as jaw surgeries later in their life.

Growth modification treatments involve the use of a functional appliance which can help to correct issues in those with an overbite, without necessarily needing to remove any teeth.

How does growth modification work?

As its name suggested, growth modification treatment modifies the growth of the bone. That’s why it’s more common for this technique to be used on younger patients who are still growing and have more pliable bone tissue, though it should be noted that it is also possible for some adults to undergo this treatment.

Through wearing a specially made appliance, it is possible to actually modify the growth of the patient’s bone so that it is gradually moved to a position where their teeth fit into their mouth and jaw correctly. As we mentioned earlier, by correcting this during the patient’s growth stage, it is often possible to avoid the need for tooth extraction and jaw surgeries. It can also work to improve a patient’s overall profile.

What age should growth modification treatment begin?

The ideal time for a patient to undergo growth modification treatment is generally between the ages of about 11 and 17. In other words, during puberty, while the body is still growing and starting to move toward its final adult form. It is also possible for adults to undergo growth modification treatment, but this is a rarer occurrence.

What appliances are used for growth modification treatment?

At Modern Orthodontics in Preston and Mt Waverley, Dr Larry Li and Dr Kyoko Hibino recommend the use of the Herbst and Twin Block functional appliances. The Herbst appliance is a fixed appliance, while the Twin Block is removable. Dr Li and Dr Hibino assess each of their growth modification patients on a case-by-case basis, and will be able to advise which appliance best suits their unique circumstances and needs.

What are the benefits of growth modification?

As discussed earlier, one of the biggest benefits of growth modification treatments is that it intercepts problems before the patient’s body has finished growing, and can actually remove the need for more invasive treatment later in life.

Other benefits include:

  • Better facial symmetry and alignment
  • Re-adjusting crooked or crowded teeth
  • Correction of a cross-bite, open bite, overbite, and underbite

Growth modification treatment Melbourne

Dr Larry Li and Dr Kyoko Hibino at Modern Orthodontics in Preston and Mt Waverley are both highly skilled orthodontists with extensive experience in growth modification treatments. They can identify if your child will benefit from growth modification treatment, and which appliance will be best suited to their unique needs.